2009 NBA Season Previews: Eastern Conference, Playoffs and Awards

Here’s how I have the Eastern Conference shaping up for the season.

1. Orlando Magic – 64-18, First Place in Southeast Division – Added a dynamic scorer in Vince Carter who can still get to the rim and create his own shot late in games. I think Dwight Howard makes another significant leap after [...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: The Rest Of The West

Oklahoma City Thunder

2008-2009 Season Record: 23-59. Fifth place in Northwest Division.

2008-2009 Team MVP: Kevin Durant

Key Additions: James Harden, Etan Thomas, Kevin Ollie, Serge Ibaka, B.J. Mullens

Key Departures: Earl Watson, Malik Rose, Desmond Mason, Chucky Atkins, Damien Wilkins, Robert Swift

Projected Starting Five:

PG – Russell Westbrook

SG – James Harden

[...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: Phoenix Suns

[Ed. Note: For the Phoenix preview, we go to our 'Zona correspondent and Head Columnist Aaron Thurunger. Prediction is by me.]

2008-2009 Season Record: 46-36. Second place in Pacific Division of the Western Conference (9th in the West).

2008-2009 Team MVP: Shaquille O’Neal

Key Additions: Channing Frye, Earl Clark, Taylor Griffin

Key Departures: Shaquille [...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: Utah Jazz

2008-2009 Season Record: 48-34. Third place in Northwest Division (8th in West).

2008-2009 Team MVP: Deron Williams

Key Additions: Eric Maynor and Paul Milsap

Key Departures: Matt Harpring, Morris Almond, and Jarron Collins

Projected Starting Five:

PG – Deron Williams

SG – Ronnie Brewer

SF – Andrei Kirilenko

PF – Carlos Boozer [...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: Denver Nuggets

2008-2009 Season Record: 54-28. First place in Northwest Division of the Western Conference (2nd in West). Smashed by the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

2008-2009 Team MVP: Chauncey Billups

Key Additions: Ty Lawson,  Arron Afflalo, and Malik Allen

Key Departures: Dahntay Jones and Linas Kleiza

Projected Starting Five:

PG – Chauncey [...]

One Guy To Pay Attention To This Year: Phoenix Suns Center Channing Frye

Channing FryeWhen the Phoenix Suns signed center Channing Frye it was a sign that they were fully dedicated to the offense first style of play that the team used to run for coach Mike D’Antoni. Frye is a big man that loves to get up and down the floor and contributing at a high rate on the offensive, which is basically the exact opposite of Shaquille O’Neal, whom GM Steve Kerr traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers this off-season for a couple of expiring contracts (We still think he could have landed Boobie Gibson to play in that offense, but oh well.). O’Neal sat in the paint eating up space and often struggled to get all the way down the court to play defense. Frye won’t do that. He’s an athletic 6-foot-11 who played at Arizona, (Jordan Hill, also a Wild Cat, was drafted by D’Antoni and the Knicks. He has the same tools that Frye does to fit in that offense.), that will put points on the board at a good pace. Continue reading…

2009 NBA Season Previews: New Orleans Hornets

2008-2009 Season Record: 49-33. Fourth place in Southwest Division of the Western Conference (7th in the West).

2008-2009 Team MVP: Chris Paul

Key Additions: Emeka Okafor, Darius Songaila, Ike Diogu, Darren Collison, Bobby Brown, and Marcus Thornton

Key Departures: Tyson Chandler, Rasual Butler, Antonio Daniels, Ryan Bowen, and Ike Diogu

Projected Starting Five:

[...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan2008-2009 Season Record: 54-28, first place in Southwest Division of the Western Conference (3rd in West). Destroyed by the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.

2008-2009 Team MVP: Tony Parker

Key Additions: Richard Jefferson, DeJuan Blair, Antonio McDyess, Theo Ratliff, and Keith Bogans

Key Departures: Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto, Drew Gooden, and Ime Udoka

Projected Starting Five:

PG - Tony Parker

SG – Roger Mason

SF – Richard Jefferson

PF – Antonio McDyess

C – Tim Duncan

Key Reserves:  Manu Ginobili, Michael Finley, Matt Bonner, Theo Ratliff, and DeJuan Blair Continue reading…

2009 NBA Season Previews: Dallas Mavericks

2008-2009 Season Record: 50-32. Third place in Southwest Division of the Western Conference (6th in the West). Beat the Spurs in the first round of the playoffs but were swept by the Nuggets in round two.

2008-2009 Team MVP: Dirk Nowitzki

Key Additions: Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, Tim Thomas, Quinton Ross, Kris Humphries, Rodrigue [...]

2009 NBA Season Previews: Portland Trail Blazers

2008-2009 Season Record: 54-28. Second place in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference (4th in the West). Eliminated by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.

2008-2009 Team MVP: Brandon Roy

Key Additions: Juwan Howard, Andre Miller, and Jeff Pendergraph

Key Departures: Channing Frye, Raef LaFrentz, Shavlik Randolph, Michael Ruffin, [...]